Being a dog parent must be extremely fulfilling. Who doesn’t love seeing a puppy running and jumping around in the office? But there are some behaviors of our beloved dogs which leave us utterly confused. One of the common gestures of any dog is headbutting. And I’m sure whenever your little doggo indulges in this particular behavior, you wonder- why does my dog headbutt me?
It can be challenging for new dog parents but even sometimes experienced ones don’t know and think why does my dog headbutt me? Not knowing the right reason can mislead you and you might end up upsetting your pet dog.
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So, let all the confusion and worry go away and find out why do dogs headbutt you?
First of all, you must know that you need not be super concerned about this behavior. This is pretty common among dogs. However, once you know the actual reason, it’s easier to find a solution for “why do dogs headbutt”.
Dogs love to communicate their thoughts and feelings through physical touch and headbutting is just another way. When your dog headbutts you it can suggest that he is looking for attention. Also, when dogs are hungry or feeling unwell, they headbutt you. Sometimes dogs headbutt when they want you to play it with him. Dogs often choose to headbutt as a way of expressing their love for you or if they are feeling insecure.
So, your dog takes the helo of headbutting to convey a plethora of emotions to you. As a dog parent, you have to understand their need and figure out how you can give them the necessary comfort they are looking for.
If he is trying to play with you, and you hand him some food, it’s not going to help your little pup. Hence you must know how to deal with your dog and give him the right treatment to solve the problem.
What Does It Mean When a Dog Headbutts You?
When your dog headbutts you, it could mean a number of things. Since it is a form of physical communication, it can have various meanings. As a dog parent, you can experience headbutting in many ways like touching you with his nose, pushing his head against you, headbutting his food bowl, and so on. Let’s jump into the reasons if you’re wondering why does my dog touch me with his nose or why does my dog push his head against me?
1. Looking for a Playmate
Dogs often headbutt each other when they are in a playful mood. So when they’re bored and you’re not playing with him at all, you can expect a situation where your dog will come to you and headbutt you.
He is trying to start a game with you. He is alerting you by headbutting that he wishes to play now. Basically, it’s time for you to throw him a ball or take him to the pool for some fun activities.
Your dog is not being aggressive by headbutting you at all. Usually, they will wiggle their tails or bark to let you know their excitement and desire to play with you.
Did you notice that sometimes your dog jumps on your head and tries to climb your shoulder? It’s not always that your dog is doing this to show his/her excitement. There may be some other reasons too.
2. He is Hungry
Dogs can get hungry anytime and if you’ve forgotten to give his meal on time because of your super busy schedule, he will make sure that you know how hungry he is. So if you don’t know why does my dog headbutt his food bowl, then here’s the answer. He is hungry.
If you see he is headbutting you and there is no excitement in his eyes or in his physical gestures, then surely he is waiting for his meal to come. Especially when he points you towards his food bowl it’s a clear indication that he wants you to give him some food.
3. Give Him Some Attention
Dogs feel quite left out when their owners spend time with others, their work, or television except for them. So how do they grab your attention? Well, he will headbutt you or your dog will bury his head into you.
Maybe he wants to go out in the garden for a while or go for a walk. He can also be simply wanting some belly rubs or cuddle from you. Since he is not getting any attention at all, you will notice him headbutting or touching you with his nose to make you aware of his presence and loneliness.
4. He Wants to Feel Safer
When you are a dog parent, you will experience sudden headbutting from your pet. If he starts headbutting you out of nowhere, it can mean that he is feeling unsafe or scared for any reason.
Your dog not only protects you, but they want protection and security from their owners too. When they see danger or a new guest in the house, or a sudden loud noise, he will headbutt you to indicate his fear.
He wants you to be close to him and pat him on his back as an assurance that you’re there and he is completely safe in your hands. Nothing in the world can harm him when his master is around him.
5. Leading You in a Direction
Your dog can be your guide too at times. If they smell something weird or hear a strange sound, they will try to find out the source. In this situation, he will headbutt you to take you in a particular direction.
Your dog can also point towards the door hinting that he wants to go outside. If you notice he headbutts you and tries to move you in a different direction, be sure that he wishes to go that place.
6. He is Sick
Did you not get a chance to have a close look at your dog’s health? Hasn’t he been taken to the vet lately? Well, your doggo might be unwell and you’ve failed to notice that.
When he feels sick or is going through any physical discomfort, he will try to bring your attention to him. You will also see symptoms like whimpering or being unusually quiet. These are clear signs that he is not having his pink of health. So, he chooses to headbutt you so that you pay full concentration to him and calm your dog.
7. Your Dog is Showing His Love
Dogs love some quality cuddle time with their parents. And it’s not just you who loves him wholeheartedly. He too wants to show his love for you. Apart from licking your hands or face, dogs headbutt to show their affection.
You will experience a gentle headbutt from your dog where he will be rubbing his head against you and looking for some cuddle and rubs from you.
So, now you are aware of the possible reasons why does my dog headbutt me.
Read Also: 7 Reasons Why Is My Dog Barking At The Wall?
Headbutting isn’t a bad thing and you don’t need to take a lot of stress for that. When your dog headbutts you, you need to understand what they are asking for. Is it food? Do they want to play or pee?
By sincerely observing your dog’s physical behavior and nature of headbutting, you can quickly figure out what does he want.
However, sometimes your dog may be triggered by a cause and get aggressive or your dog bites when excited. In general, headbutting won’t hurt you, but if it suddenly headbutts on your head or faces with a lot of force, you may get injured. Then it’s a cause of concern.
So, make sure you keep a check on the pattern of his headbutting. If it’s for attention or telling you to give him food, you can relax totally. But if you see an aggressive tendency in his behavior, you should take him to a vet.
Headbutting is a way of telling you what he needs from you. So, the easiest thing to stop a behavior like this would be not to give what he wants.
Ignoring him while he is indulging in behavior like headbutting can stop this. When he won’t get the desired attention from you, he will look for some other ways, because clearly headbutting isn’t helping him.
Here are a few tips that you must do to stop your dog from headbutting:
- Ignore him
- Be busy with your own work
- Go to another room and leave him alone
- Do not take your dog to the same dog park if he headbutts other dogs
- Divert his attention with a toy
- Train him if he violently headbutts you
1. Remove The Things That Scare Him
If there is a particular thing that he is afraid of, or if you see that he only headbutts you only when the volume of the TV or soundbox is higher, that means he is scared of these things. You must get rid of these things immediately. Lower the volume of your gadgets or do not play loud volume for some time to make him accustomed.
2. Give Him Ample Time
Your doggo won’t headbutt you if he gets enough time from his owner out of loneliness or boredom. So have a dedicated time for him where you take him out for a play or walk. You can also cuddle him after your work and build a stronger bond.
3. Give Him Food on Time
When he headbutts you out of hunger, it means you have not been feeding him on time. So make a routine and have a specific time when you will feed your dog.
4. Check His Health
When you see there is no excitement in his physical gestures, he is not wagging his tails, he is whining, being quiet all the time, not playing enough, your dog is unwell. These are some of the signs you should look for when he headbutts you. So go for regular checkups to avoid such situations.
There are certain things that you must not do when your dog headbutts you.
- Do not encourage this behavior.
- Do not give any reactions. When he does not get any reaction from you, he will stop.
- Do not reward him. You should not give any treat of his choice when he headbutts you as it will only boost him to do this more.
You should not be worried if your dog headbutts you. This is quite common in dogs. Once you know why your dog headbutts you and find the right solution for him, you and your doggo will have the best time.
FAQ on Why Does My Dog Headbutt Me
1. Why does my dog keep bumping me with his nose?
Ans– Dogs bump their nose usually for attention. When they want food or petting or they want to play with you, they will bump you with the nose to let you know their wants and needs.
2. Why does my dog headbutt me when I pet him?
Ans– Your dog headbutts you to show his love for you. He feels safe and secured in your arms and he wants to spend some more time with you. He wants more cuddles from you and hence he headbutts you.
3. Is it a bad sign if your dog headbutts you?
Ans- Headbutting is not a bad sign. He is simply looking for some attention or he is hungry. This is a very general behavior among the dog community and you should not be worried.